Two million people in the united states are living without a limb.
Now, surgeons at the ohio state university and other top centers in the country are performing a surgery called targeted muscle reinnervation, or t-m-r.
T-m-r rewires the body.
As martie salt reports, it's a procedure that is lessening or eliminating limb pain for patients.
Emilee lester has come a long way in two years.
Just four days before her college graduation she was driving her car back to school when a large piece of debris was suddenly on the roadway.
"even though i know you aren't supposed to, i swerved to avoid it and hit another car head on."
.... the impact crushed emilee's right foot between the ankle and toes.
"my family, we like to describe it as taking a handful of chips, crunching them with your hand, putting em on the table, and trying to put them back together.
Too many pieces.
Pieces don't exist anymore.
Its just way too hard to put them back together."
(:12) emilee made the decision to have doctors amputate.
During the surgery, doctor ian valerio also performed another procedure designed to eliminate stump pain and phantom limb pain: the feeling of pain in a limb that is no longer there.
("any pain over here?") (:02) doctor valerio is pioneering the use of primary targeted muscle reinnervation or t-m-r, rerouting the nerves that are cut during amputation into surrounding muscle, lessening the pain.
"by hooking the peripheral nerve up to the motor nerve, it sends new signals as the nerve regrows, thus reinnervating the muscle."
(:07) one week after her amputation, emilee's college held a graduation ceremony for her in the hospital.
Three months later, emilee went to parris island for her brother's graduation from marine corps boot camp, walking five miles on her new prosthetic leg.
"it has not stopped me from doing anything i want.
If i have to figure out a different way to do it, i do."
(:06) for news 8 i'm martie salt with today's medical